Greensburg Central Catholic boys lacrosse continues to build, improve

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 8:33 PM

Just two years ago, the Greensburg Central Catholic boys lacrosse team had a roster of just 11 players.

Since then, the Centurions have built their program from the bottom up.

This season, they fielded a roster of 25 players and have started to implement a culture that is translating into the product they are putting on the field. But while they may miss out on the playoffs this season, coach Scott Szweda believes this 2019 squad has set the tone for years to come.

“This year we laid the ground work for our future,” Szweda said. “We’ve generated a buzz in the school, and at the junior high level there have been strides that have been taken. This season really allowed us to lay the ground work for what we can do moving forward.”

The season started off well for GCC. The Centurions were winners of their first four games, outscoring opponents 63-24. Things were looking up for a team with four seniors and several players who were entering their first or second season of lacrosse.

Then they lost three straight games, including two one-goal games against South Fayette and Freeport. And since their 14-10 win over Penn-Trafford on April 13, the Centurions lost five of their last six and fell short of a playoff berth with a 3-6 mark in Section 1-AA.

Although the results may not show it in the wins column, there is a lot of positivity to take away from this season. In the past, Szweda said the team has either won or lost by 10 goals, and this season they played in six games that were decided by four goals or less.

“As a program, we have taken tremendous strides this season,” Szweda said. “You could make the case that we have overachieved given our experience level. On any given night, we start five players who this is their first year of lacrosse. We really couldn’t ask them to do any more than compete for the team, and I think we’ve succeeded with that piece of the puzzle.”

Their top two point and goal scorers — Tom Erdely and Sam Szweda — will be back next year after tallying 56 and 45 goals, respectively.

Then, with another year under their belt, several players will return next year with a better idea of what it takes to have success in lacrosse, both on the field and off.

Most importantly, Szweda said the Centurions will have the numbers to put together a junior varsity program next year which will allow players to gain even more experience before they play at the varsity level.

“With the growth in numbers comes the growth of expectations,” Szweda said. “With the growth in expectations, comes the ability to learn on the fly, and the experience level grows. Right now, we have one player who has experience of playing before the varsity level. So, every game is an opportunity for our kids to get experience.”

GCC will close out the season against Seton LaSalle on Thursday. Szweda said it is just another chance to improve on what they have built this season.

“It gives us an opportunity to celebrate were we began and kind of the road that we have traveled this season.” Szweda said. “In any given game or any given opportunity, there are moments that you want to capitalize on and there are moments that you let get away. For us, we have taken a step this season.”


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